On-Site Magazine

N.L. issues RFQ to replace 160-year-old penitentiary in St. John’s

By On-Site Staff   


The government of Newfoundland and Labrador has begun the procurement process for a new penitentiary on the northeast end of St. John’s.

The province issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the design-build-finance-maintain contract July 17. Construction teams looking to bid on the project will have until October to express their interest and outline their capabilities.

Andrew Parsons, the province’s minister of Justice and Public Safety, said the new facility will “transform” corrections in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Corrections has evolved over the years and the reality is HMP makes it difficult to facilitate programming inmates of the 21st century deserve,” he said in a release. “We remain committed to a new facility that will increase safety for inmates and staff.”


HMP, or Her Majesty’s Penitentiary, in St. John’s has facilities dating back as far as 1859 and has come under increased scrutiny in recent years. The province committed to building a new lockup to replace the aging facility last year.

At about 21,000-square-metres (225,000 sq. ft.) the new penitentiary will have double the capacity of HMP. The Department of Transportation and Works said it will make use of technology to increase safety, while allowing for more access to mental health and addiction services and other programming.

The estimated cost to build the new prison is about $200 million.

The province anticipates shortlisting bid teams and issuing a request for proposals (RFP) early next year. Construction is likely to start in 2022 and run through 2025.


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